Title: The Crosswalk
Author: CrystalSaffron
Stealing makes me sad, feedback makes me happy! Don't steal and R&R!
A/N: This popped into my head randomly...thinking of maybe submitting it to my literary magazine at school but i wanted to see what you guys thought first. Just a short, contemplative one-shot with a metaphor. Cookies for those who spot it!

What are you living for?

The thought couldn't have run more randomly though Gracie's head if she had picked a question out of a book. She paused at the sidewalk as she waited for the signal to walk, stuffed in her winter jacket and gloves in an attempt to stave off the cold. She watched as the cars passed her by, watched as life carried on with her on the sidewalk, observing it all.

She glanced to her side and saw a little boy with his mother. The blond, blue-eyed boy was looking around, hand tucked within his mother's protective grasp and she bounced anxiously on her heels waiting for her own signal to go. The boy looked up and gave Gracie a small, tentative smile which she returned. The woman then started walking across to the opposite side of the street, every once and a while glancing down at her son to make sure he was still there. The look of relief and reassurance that flitted through the mother's eyes as they made it to the other side of the street made Gracie wish that she had someone who was relieved that she made it safely across the busy street. The boy that she was looking at turned back once to shoot another small smile to her, which she winked at. After that the boy and his mother disappeared into the crowd and Gracie turned back to her own signal, sighing in frustration as she realized she had missed it and would have to wait for the next one.

It seemed sometimes that you were always were waiting for something; A signal to walk, to move on with your life, leaving people behind you as they went off to different paths. But either way, as soon as you made it across the street you waited again for the next light to tell you that it was safe to go on. Always waiting anxiously.

Gracie wondered what would happen if she went to the middle of the walkway and stopped and let the time of the signal run out. Would the people in the cars pay attention enough to stop? Would they even care? Or better yet: Would they even wonder why?

Sometimes it didn't seem like there was anything to go on for, other times it seemed like there was so much to go on for that you ran across the way. It always seemed like the times you were running were the times when a car was most likely to come out of the blue and hit you. Other times it seemed as if it would be better just to brave the traffic and see if you could make it across safely, signal be damned. Why not run when you don't have anything to loose?

But there was always something to loose and always something to be patient for, Gracie supposed. There was her family, her friends, her support system. They would hate to have her left behind or stuck in the middle. There were the simple pleasures in life: a beautiful day, a hug, or that perfect moment. They only added to the enticement to keep moving, to keep trudging along.

Then there was always something to hold her back, something to stop her from trying to brave the busy street. Pain. Loss. Rejection. These could be more stifling and hurtful then any sort of imaginable torture. They made you want to stop trying. What was the point when you could only get hurt again?

The signal beckoned her forth and after a moments indecision Gracie stepped on to the street, an even pace carrying her feet forward and further into the street, further into danger. A terrible screeching stopped her in her tracks as a car slammed on its breaks the last second and stopped just inches from Gracie. Her heart racing, she looked in the car and noticed a horrified driver, cell phone dangling from their hand.

Inexplicably, Gracie felt laughter bubbling forth and made her way across the street, still laughing. With a smile, she stepped up on the curb and made her way through the throngs of people and started to head home. She had faced danger and lived and she didn't regret it. Sometimes, Gracie thought…sometimes, there are things on the other side of the road that are worth the risk.